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Salvation Army giving Broadmoor residents energy-efficient upgrades

31 Jan 2009

Christmas is coming a little late this year for some Broadmoor families.

The Salvation Army is presenting each with different energy-efficient upgrades as part of its “12 Days of Christmas” outreach program.

The donations are helping launch its EnviRenew program, which will help low-income families with energy-efficiency, said Ethan Frizzell, Greater New Orleans area commander of the Salvation Army.

This year, EnviRenew will pay for energy audits and renovations for 125 homes, based on a “green home sustainability standard, “ Frizzell said. The organization is also planning a project to build green homes from the ground up.

Because the Salvation Army “has historically served the least well-off and the disenfranchised, “ it wants to bring the money-saving benefits of energy-efficiency to a population lacking capital to invest in those improvements, Frizzell said. The group weatherized 43 homes last year, and the positive response from that program prompted it to launch EnviRenew.

Starting Sunday, the program will launch, which will feature information, discussion forums, home plans and a group-rate purchasing program for energy-efficient upgrades.

“We’re trying to make available the tax benefits of solar and the sustainability benefits of green housing to the most vulnerable population that usually doesn’t have the opportunity to participate in those programs, “ Frizzell said.

In the meantime, the Salvation Army will be completing the 12 green renovation projects in Broadmoor, with the assistance of local developer Green Coast Enterprises, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Broadmoor Improvement Association and a number of other nonprofits, retailers and manufacturers.


The recipient: Bertha Griffen, a 61-year-old homeowner still living in a FEMA trailer on her property. Griffen says she lost $20,000 to contractor fraud and received neither insurance nor Road Home money to help rebuild her flooded home.
The perks: Proper windows save energy in two ways: First, they fill a house with natural light, saving up to 50 percent on daytime energy use from lighting. Second, double-glazed windows with a low-E coating save about 30 percent more energy than regular double-glazed windows, said Ethan Frizzell of the Salvation Army.

The recipient: Antonie Payne, 62, who lives with her disabled son.
The perks: Properly sealing a home’s building envelope prevents loss of heated and cooled air through gaps and openings around doors, windows, plumbing penetrations and other joints.

The recipient: Vincent Trotter, who lives with his girlfriend and their 18-month-old daughter. The family has been repairing their home since October 2007, and moved back in two months ago.
The perks: These paints contain safe levels of volatile organic compounds, potentially toxic pollutants found in common household paints and glues. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, VOCs — or volatile organic compounds — can cause headaches and respiratory problems and are potentially carcinogenic. Low-VOC and no-VOC products have become increasingly popular and available.

The recipient: Mary Phipps, 89, who lives with her daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter and great-grandchildren. Phipps is in a legal battle to recover more than $70,000 she says she lost to contractor fraud following Hurricane Katrina.
The perks: Dehumidifiers beef up the efficiency of an air-conditioning system by removing moisture from the air, thus making it feel cooler more quickly. Lower indoor humidity also reduces mold growth and the amount of particulates in the air.

The recipient: Phillip Steward
The perks: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the energy saved in 2007 through the use of Energy Star appliances, which use 10 percent to 50 percent less energy than their traditional counterparts, was roughly equal to the greenhouse gas emissions of 27 million cars, and translated to $16 billion in utility-bill savings.

The recipient: Minnie Powell
The perks: Made from 100 percent recycled cardboard and office paper, Paperstone is eye-catching and durable, said local retailer Mike Ward of New Orleans Bamboo. Other sustainable countertop materials include bamboo, concrete, stainless steel, EnviroSLAB and Vetrazzo.

The recipients: Duane and Nancy Parker
The perks: Heating a home’s water with the sun’s rays saves 85 percent to 95 percent on hot water, which can comprise about a third of a home’s total monthly energy expenses, according to local installer South Coast Solar.

The recipient: Sean Francis
The perks: Adding to a home’s insulating power, or R-value, is always a smart move, but using a sustainable resource, such as local company Green Bean Insulation’s spray foam made from sugarcane residue, is even better, Frizzell said.

The recipient: Carlotta Jefferson
The perks: Plants acclimated to New Orleans’ tropical, rainy climate require less maintenance and water than many traditional landscaping species, said Joe Evans of sustainable design firm FutureProof. Native species also encourage a healthy habitat for backyard wildlife, such as birds and butterflies.

The recipient: Vivian Baptiste, 82, who says she lost $50,000 to contractor fraud while rebuilding her home after Katrina.
The perks: According to local air-conditioning contractor AAS Inc., certain indoor air particulates can get trapped in lungs and, over time, pose serious health risks. An air filtration system removes these particles and reduces common allergens inside a house.

The recipient: Caroline Zimmerman
The perks: Low-flow fixtures, which use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, are becoming more common since a 1995 National Energy Policy Act mandate, Frizzell said. They include toilets, faucet aerators and shower heads.

The recipient: Martha Anderson
The perks: Unlike carpeting, which can trap particulates, dust and dander that contribute to poor indoor air quality, a responsibly harvested wood floor keeps indoor air cleaner, Frizzell said.

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Molly Reid can be reached at or 504.826.3448.